Il focus del diario geostrategico di oggi riguarda l’importanza dell’OSINT nella guerra di disinformazione.
FOCUS – In the build-up to the invasion of Ukraine, it was publicly available satellite imagery shared online and used in news reports that gave credence to official warnings from the West about Russia’s intended aggression. Since then, self-taught enthusiasts, long-established news organisations, think tanks, NGOs and specialist teams have collaborated and shared to counter an increasingly aggressive and violent Russian information war machine. Designed to confuse and disable effective reactions, it has included a massive disinformation campaign, attacks on foreign news crews, strikes against TV broadcasting masts in Ukraine, and the censorship and sweeping controls placed on Russian media outlets. Matt Freear – RUSI – OSINT in an Age of Disinformation Warfare
An Australian court has overturned a groundbreaking ruling that required the country’s environment minister to consider the potential harm to children from climate change when approving new fossil fuel projects. A judge in July 2020 found that the environment minister must “avoid causing personal injury or death” to under 18s due to “emissions of carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere” when considering such projects, following a case brought to court by a group of secondary school students. Al Jazeera – Australia court overturns landmark climate ruling
- Bangladesh will ban questions probing the “immoral character” of rape victims in criminal cases, authorities say, after a long campaign by rights groups against humiliating interrogations of traumatised survivors. Experts say the country’s Evidence Act, a 19th-century relic of the British colonial era, has been routinely used to discredit the testimony of survivors during court cross-examinations and police investigations. Al Jazeera – Bangladesh to ban ‘immoral character’ evidence in rape cases
- Chadian authorities have handed over a former Central African Republic militia leader accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity, to the International Criminal Court. On Monday, the Hague-based court said in a statement that Maxime Jeoffroy Eli Mokom Gawaka, who is suspected of crimes committed in 2013 and 2014 “in Bangui and other locations in the Central African Republic,” was now in its custody. Al Jazeera – Chad surrenders Central African ex-militia head to ICC
- China’s foreign minister has told his Spanish counterpart his country does not want to be impacted by Western economic sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine last month, according to state media. “China is not a party to the crisis, still less wants to be affected by the sanctions,” Wang Yi said, according to a readout of a phone call with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares that was published on Tuesday. Al Jazeera – China says it does not want to be impacted by Russia sanctions
- Germany will buy up to 35 copies of the U.S.-made F-35 fighter jet, reversing years-long plans that saw the fifth-generation warplane eliminated from consideration, defense leaders announced Monday. The planes will take over by 2030 the niche, but crucial, nuclear-weapons mission from the aging fleet of Tornado aircraft, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said during a joint statement with Air Force Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz in Berlin. Sebastian Sprenger – Defense News – Germany to buy F-35 warplanes for nuclear deterrence
- An Indian court has upheld a ban on the hijab in class in the southern state of Karnataka, governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “We are of the considered opinion that wearing of hijab by Muslim women does not form a part of essential religious practice,” Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi of the Karnataka High Court said in a judgement on Tuesday. Al Jazeera – India court upholds Karnataka state’s ban on hijab in class
- Facebook allowed a large number of ghost and surrogate advertisers to secretly fund the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) election campaigns in India and boost the governing party’s visibility, according to an analysis of advertisements placed on the social media platform across 22 months and 10 elections.
- The recent proposal by a senior Iranian politician for a constitutional change has revived the debate around the possibility of introducing a parliamentary government system to the Islamic Republic. Proposals for constitutional changes have been raised on several occasions over the past decade, and the complex relations between the last four presidents and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have encouraged initiatives designed to pave the way for a replacement of the presidential system with a parliamentary system. Although these proposals have thus far produced no outcome, it is possible that this time, both main political camps and even Khamenei himself have an interest in promoting the change. The reformist-pragmatic camp may consider constitutional change an opportunity to regain some of its political influence, following years of exclusion. The conservatives, on the other hand, could exploit their control of all three government branches to promote constitutional change that will ensure conservative hegemony in the regime’s institutions, particularly in view of the expected struggle over the succession following the death of Khamenei. Raz Zimmt – INSS – The Second Republic of Iran: Is Iran Moving toward a Constitutional Change?
IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow has received written guarantees from Washington that Western sanctions on Russia over Ukraine will not affect cooperation with Iran within the framework of the 2015 nuclear deal. Lavrov’s remarks on Tuesday – delivered as he hosted his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amirabdollahian, for talks in the Russian capital – could potentially signal that Russia’s demand that the sanctions would not impede its future dealings with Iran has been fulfilled. Maziar Motamedi – Al Jazeera – Russia says it has received US guarantees over Iran nuclear deal
IRAQ – IRAN
- Twelve short-range ballistic missiles, fired from Iran, landed close to the U.S. consulate in Erbil, which is in the building stage, and to the offices of the Kurdish television network Kurdistan24 in northern Iraq. U.S. security forces and intelligence operatives are stationed in the region. American, Kurdish, and Iraqi security personnel launched an investigation, and initial findings are that the missiles were of the Fateh-110 model (a ballistic missile with a short range of up to 300 km; the different models include the Zulfiqar, which was fired at the United Arab Emirates from Yemen, with a range of up to 700 km).
ISRAEL – PALESTINE
- Israeli forces have shot three Palestinians dead, including a teenager, in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank and in the Naqab (Negev) desert. In an Israeli raid on the sprawling Balata refugee camp in the northern city of Nablus early on Tuesday, 17-year-old Nader Rayan died after being shot in the head, chest and hand, the Palestinian health ministry said. Al Jazeera – Several Palestinians including teen killed by Israeli forces
JAPAN – USA
- Soldiers in Mali have been responsible for killing at least 71 civilians since early December, a leading rights group said in a report on Tuesday. Reuters – Mali’s military killed dozens of civilians in wave of violence, rights group says
- The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is among the most vulnerable places in the world to climate change. The U.N. has highlighted the devastating toll that climate change will have on the region’s water supplies and food production systems, and its potential to create breeding grounds for terrorism and violent extremism. No country will be spared: The affluent Gulf nations face depleted freshwater resources within the next 50 years, while in conflict-ridden Iraq, average temperatures are soaring at a rate that is two-to-seven times faster than the global average. Food and water production systems across the Levant face imminent collapse. Ranj Alaaldin – Brookings – Climate change may devastate the Middle East. Here’s how governments should tackle it
- The impact of climate change on Nigeria’s environmental and socioeconomic systems is compounding the country’s fragility risks. Extreme weather patterns—fiercer, longer dry seasons and shorter, more intense rainy seasons—are exacerbating challenges confronting local communities. Extensive cultivation and overgrazing have been compounded by desertification, rendering large swaths of land in northern Nigeria unproductive. Unpredictable and higher-intensity rainfall in southern Nigeria is resulting in a loss of crops and the displacement of communities. Depleting environmental resources in every part of the country pose a serious food security challenge in the face of a rapidly growing population. In fact, the 2021 Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index ranks Nigeria as the 53rd most-vulnerable country and the 6th least-ready country in the world to adapt to climate change. Amara Nwankpa – Brookings – Managing existential risk and climate resilience: The case of Nigeria
- Diesel generators had been providing back-up electricity to the site. The damaged power line was initially fixed on 13 March, but Ukraine’s energy company Ukrenergo said it was damaged again “by the occupying forces” before the power supply could be fully restored. World Nuclear News – Power supply restored to Chernobyl : Regulation & Safety
- Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) attained first criticality on 21 December, after which its power output has been gradually increased to approximately 27%. At 12.01pm on 12 March, the unit was connected to the grid at a power output of 103 MWe. World Nuclear News – Finnish EPR starts supplying electricity : New Nuclear
- A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Kärnfull Next and GEH for the BWRX-300, a 300-megawatt water-cooled, natural circulation SMR with passive safety systems. The design is based on GEH’s US-licensed, 1520 MWe Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor design. The ESBWR has already been certified by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and is currently undergoing a Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission pre-licensing Vendor Design Review. World Nuclear News – Kärnfull teams up with GEH for SMR deployment
RUSSIA – UKRAINE (impact, reactions, consequences)
- Many of the world’s democracies are employing financial and economic countermeasures to oppose Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine that began on Feb. 24. In the period since, these sanctions have come from the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and other governments around the world at a dizzying speed, targeting a wide range of Russian government officials, oligarchs, citizens, banks, and corporations. They include many individuals and entities in Putin’s orbit who have long been the subject of scrutiny by anti-corruption analysts, activists, and authorities. The extent of the sanctions is staggering: It is the “most comprehensive set of multilateral economic sanctions ever applied to a major global economy.” – Norman Eisen, Robin J. Lewis, Aaron Klein, Lilly Blumenthal, Mario Picon, Scott Johnston, and Charlie Loudon – Brookings – Mapping financial countermeasures against Russian aggression: Introducing the Brookings Sanctions Tracker
- Despite having acquired key defense equipment from Ukraine since the 1990s, Russia’s invasion of the country will not cause support issues for Pakistan, as this weaponry was already being phased out, an industry source has told Defense News. The largest Pakistan-Ukrainian defense deal was for 320 T-80UD/Ob’yekt 478BEh tanks, built by the Kharkov Machine Building Design Bureau, or KMDB. The tanks were ordered in 1996 and delivered during the 1997-1999 time frame, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Usman Ansari – Defense News – How is Pakistan’s military equipment affected by the Russian invasion?
- The fighting in Ukraine invites some important conclusions regarding the use of force in the world taking shape before our eyes. This is the first clash between two militaries for a long time, and the Ukrainian army is not operating according to the concept of “conventional warfare,” but using an upgraded version of the war of the weak. On the other side, Vladimir Putin is caught in a trap, because although Russia is actually fighting in Ukraine, its real purpose is to create a new balance with the West, which is not part of the fighting on the ground but is waging a powerful economic war against Russia. Once Moscow’s plan to achieve a quick decision failed, the current war was no longer a means to achieve political ends, and in fact now threatens to frustrate any possibility of achieving them. There are many lessons to be learned for those who seek to use military force in today’s world. Ofer Shelah – INSS – Putin’s Dilemma
- Questions of the “what would have happened if” are irrelevant to historical research, unless they add a current perspective. Such a perspective exists insofar as Ukraine is not part of NATO or the European Union, unlike other European countries that were part of the Soviet bloc and were accepted into these organizations following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. And now, when parts of Ukraine have been captured by Russia, and two regions have even been recognized by Russia as independent, this question arises anew. The rigid conditions posed by the Kremlin for an end to the war leave little room for implementation, and there is therefore a need for “creative” ideas that can perhaps help stop the fighting. It is possible that if the talks with Russia progress, members of the European Union and NATO may be required to produce formulas that resolve the tension between the moral obligation to a European country under attack and “realpolitik,” that is, the need to reach a settlement and establish coexistence with an enemy that is challenging the existing order in the Eurasian space. Oded Eran, Shimon Stein – INSS – Is Ukraine Poised to Join NATO and the European Union?
- The IPCC’s latest warning of the adverse impact of climate change on global security has been largely overshadowed by the Ukraine crisis, explains Shiloh Fetzek. But could the swift energy-policy decisions of the past weeks offer hope of an accelerated shift away from fossil fuels? Shiloh Fetzek – IISS – Could the Ukraine crisis accelerate a longer-term policy shift away from fossil fuels?
- The United Kingdom has added 350 more Russians to its sanctions list, hiked tariffs on a swath of imports from vodka to steel, and banned exports of luxury goods in retaliation for Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Tuesday said the asset freeze and travel ban now extended to 51 oligarchs and their families, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “political allies and propagandists”. Al Jazeera – UK blacklists 350 more Russians, imposes new import tariffs
- Russian prosecutors have called for jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny to serve 13 years in prison on new embezzlement and contempt of court charges. Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most vocal domestic critic, was jailed last year after surviving a poison attack he blames on the Kremlin. He is serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence. Al Jazeera – Russian prosecutors seek new jail term for Kremlin critic Navalny
- Kyiv will impose a 35-hour curfew from Tuesday night amid a “difficult and dangerous moment” after several Russian strikes in the capital, according to Mayor Vitali Klitschko. The curfew from 8pm (18:00 GMT) on Tuesday until 7am (05:00 GMT) on Thursday was a “decision of the military command”, Klitschko, a former boxing champion, said on Tuesday. Al Jazeera – Kyiv to impose 35-hour curfew amid fresh Russian attacks
- The ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict has disrupted India’s edible oil market which gets more than 90 percent of its sunflower oil from those two countries, experts say. The resultant increase in retail prices could worsen if the war continues to rage on. India consumes about 25 million tonnes of edible oil each year, of which it imports about 55 percent, making it the largest importer of edible oils in the world. In the financial year ending March 2021, it imported about 13.35 million tonnes of edible oils worth more than $10.5bn, according to government data (PDF). Of this, palm oil accounts for about 56 percent, soybean oil for 27 percent, and sunflower for about 16 percent. Mayank Aggarwal – Al Jazeera – Ukraine-Russia war jolts India’s import-dependent edible oil mkt
- The United Nations and human rights organisations have warned Russia against punishing a Russian journalist who appeared on state TV brandishing an anti-war sign. In an act of dissent on Monday, Marina Ovsyannikova held up a poster behind the studio presenter of Russia’s state TV Channel One and interrupted a live news bulletin by shouting slogans denouncing Moscow’s war in Ukraine. Al Jazeera – Fears mount over ‘missing’ Russian anti-war TV protester
- For years, Ukraine has aspired to join NATO, a move that would significantly boost its military in the face of Russian aggression, but the chances of membership remain slim even as the war devastates the former Soviet country. Russia refuses Western allegations that it wants to influence Ukraine, and claims its main desire is for Ukraine to be neutral, a buffer state, and out of NATO. Thomas O Falk – Al Jazeera – Ukraine: What does neutrality mean, and could it lead to peace?
- Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today that efforts were continuing to resume external electricity supplies to the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), a day after Ukrainian specialist teams repaired one of two damaged power lines connecting the site to the grid, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said. IAEA – Update 21 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine
- The White House’s top national security aide on Monday said China will face “consequences” if it provides material support to Russia’s war in Ukraine, a senior administration official said. During a seven-hour meeting in Rome, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Yang Jiechi, China’s director of the office of the Foreign Affairs Commission, had a “very candid” conversation that touched on topics ranging from the growing threat of North Korea to China’s support of Russia during its invasion of Ukraine. Jacqueline Feldscher – Defense One – Sullivan Vows ‘Consequences’ If China Helps Russia in Ukraine
- As Russia massed troops along its border with Ukraine over the last few months, it was unclear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would invade. But if he did, experts warned, Russia would bombard the nation with a series of cyberattacks to sow confusion and weaken its resolve. On Feb. 24, Putin unveiled his plans. Moscow’s war machine rolled into the Eastern European nation. The combined Russian air, land and sea assault was preceded by waves of cyberattacks, the sort of gray-zone meddling analysts and defense officials had foreseen. Websites were hamstrung. Malware coursed through computers. Communications were hampered. Colin Demarest – Defense News – Blue, yellow and gray zone: The cyber factor in Ukraine
- Activists in London have briefly seized a multimillion-dollar mansion linked to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch subject to sanctions, saying they want to use it to house refugees fleeing Russia’s war on Ukraine. The group broke into the property at 5 Belgrave Square – one of the most exclusive addresses in the centre of the United Kingdom’s capital – and hung the Ukrainian flag outside alongside banners, one of which read: “This property has been liberated.”. Al Jazeera – Activists briefly seize London mansion linked to Oleg Deripaska
- The United States warned China against providing military or financial help to Moscow after its invasion of Ukraine, as sanctions on Russian political and business leaders mounted and civilians sought to flee intense fighting on the ground. Pavel Polityuk, Natalia Zinets – Reuters – U.S. warns China against helping Russia as sanctions mount
- The International Court of Justice announced on Monday that it would issue a ruling on Wednesday in the case regarding “Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation).”. Monique Beals – The Hill – International Criminal Court to issue ruling on allegations of genocide against Russia
- Martin Griffiths, the United Nations humanitarian chief, announced on Monday that the U.N. would allocate $40 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to increase aid to some of the most vulnerable people affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Monique Beals – The Hill – UN allocates $40 million for humanitarian aid to Ukraine
- No one can yet predict just how much of a human tragedy the Russian invasion of Ukraine will create. What the U.S. and its strategic partners can predict, however, is that Russia will be a lasting threat as long as Putin or anyone like him remains in power. What is also equally clear is that while China may be less openly provocative and threatening, its competition with the United States presents a steadily growing threat, and China is moving from cooperation and civil competition to the possibility of a major military confrontation as well. If anything, President Xi has already proved that China can create a far more effective threat than Russia over the coming decade, and President Xi already controls a far a larger economy than President Putin. Anthony H. Cordesman – CSIS – U.S. Strategy and the Real Lessons of the War in Ukraine
- On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin met one-on-one with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in Moscow. The two leaders discussed important regional and bilateral issues in a meeting that lasted more than three hours. Khan’s trip to Russia, made at Putin’s invitation, was the first by a Pakistani head of government in nearly 23 years (The News, February 24). Yet the timing of his arrival in the Russian capital—a mere hours before the Kremlin ordered its military forces massed on the Ukrainian border to begin the re-invasion—not only raised eyebrows in the West but prompted calls inside Pakistan for Khan to postpone the visit. Critics pointed out that going through with the summit in the middle of the spiraling crisis around Ukraine was sending the wrong signals to the United States and the European Union (Dawn, February 27). Syed Fazl-e-Haider – The Jamestown Foundation – Moscow, Beijing Play the ‘Pakistan Card’ to Crack the Quad Over Ukraine War
- Moldova’s leadership realistically views its country as the most fragile among all of Ukraine’s neighbors from the standpoint of national cohesion, resilience, and economic resources. These domestic vulnerabilities compel the government to adopt, in effect, an attitude of hunkering down vis-à-vis Russia’s war in Ukraine, out of tune and step with the leadership’s commitment to its Western orientation (see Part One in EDM, March 10). Vladimir Socor – The Jamestown Foundation – Moldova Keeps Out of Russia-Ukraine Fray (Part Two)
- The long-planned Ukrainian war is going poorly for President Vladimir Putin on many fronts, from the fiercely defended outskirts of Kyiv to the closed doors of MacDonald’s restaurants in Moscow. However, the drastic deterioration of Russia’s international standing is likely particularly painful for him. The Kremlin head has sought to exploit the presumed feebleness of the United States’ leadership and the European Union’s dependency upon gas import to assert Russia’s “great power” status. But instead, he is encountering a surge of Western unity and, as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had promised, “more NATO” from the Arctic to the Black Sea (Kommersant, February 19). This buildup of potential threats was acknowledged at the meeting of the Russian Security Council last Friday (March 11); but what captured most media attention was Putin’s instruction to deploy “volunteers” from the Middle East to the war zone in Donbas (Izvestia, March 11). If indeed organized, such a deployment would hardly make a difference for the stalled Russian offensive operations, but it reflects the desire to uphold Russia’s positions and influence in the Middle East and North Africa. Pavel K. Baev – The Jamestown Foundation – Moscow Scrambles to Sustain Its Positions in the Middle East
- From the very beginning of the war in Ukraine that was kicked off by Russian forces’ invasion on February 24, the strategic goal for Russia has been clear: remove the current government and replace it with a Russian-friendly regime. Because cities are the economic and political centers of power for nations, it is no surprise that the city of Kyiv is Russia’s decisive objective. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and other government leaders have remained in the capital. The Battle of Kyiv is the only battle that matters in the Ukraine War. John Spencer – Modern War Institute – What Will the Battle of Kyiv Look Like?
- More than 40 years after a catastrophic famine struck the region, the Sahel has once again become the focus of global attention. Poor economic performance, growing instability, and deteriorating climate conditions have combined to produce a vicious circle of increased poverty, instability, and communal violence. By drying out sources of livelihoods for populations mainly dependent on natural resources, climate change reinforces long-existing rivalries and increasingly triggers violence. In this paper, we argue that while climate change is a proximate cause of violence, institutional failures and clientelism are the actual root causes. Ahmadou Aly Mbaye and Landry Signé – Brookings – Climate change, development, and conflict-fragility nexus in the Sahel
SAUDI ARABIA – CHINA
- The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Saudi Arabia invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Riyadh in an effort to strengthen ties with Beijing. Monique Beals – The Hill – Saudi Arabia invites China’s Xi to visit Riyadh: report
- Senegalese authorities have launched a military offensive against fighters allied to the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance, a separatist group in the southern region of the country. Al Jazeera – Senegal begins military operation against Casamance secessionists
SRI LANKA – IMF
- Sri Lanka is seeking financial support from the International Monetary Fund, reversing the government’s earlier resistance as efforts to bolster its foreign exchange reserves and manage looming debt payments have been complicated by the war in Ukraine. Bloomberg, Al Jazeera – Sri Lanka reverses course, seeks financial support from IMF
- Amjad al-Malah, 32, and his family were finally able to flee the besieged city of Madaya five years ago and headed to northwestern Syria. His voice trembles as he recalls those two years, cut off from adequate food and medicine by Syrian government forces and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group. Syrians seek justice for war atrocities 11 years after uprising – Al Jazeera –
- Have you ever felt a creeping sensation that someone’s watching you? Then you turn around and you don’t see anything out of the ordinary. Depending on where you were, though, you might not have been completely imagining it. There are billions of things sensing you every day. They are everywhere, hidden in plain sight – inside your TV, fridge, car and office. These things know more about you than you might imagine, and many of them communicate that information over the internet. Back in 2007, it would have been hard to imagine the revolution of useful apps and services that smartphones ushered in. But they came with a cost in terms of intrusiveness and loss of privacy. As computer scientists who study data management and privacy, we find that with internet connectivity extended to devices in homes, offices and cities, privacy is in more danger than ever. Roberto Yus and Primal Pappachan – Nextgov – Smart Devices Spy on You—2 Computer Scientists Explain how the Internet of Things can Violate Your Privacy
- Turkey’s drone powerhouse Baykar Makina is accelerating two advanced programs, including development of what the company brands as Turkey’s first unmanned fighter jet. Burak Ege Bekdil – Defense News – Turkish Baykar advances two drone efforts
- Turkmenistan authorities have said the son of the Central Asian country’s leader won the presidential election after an unusual vote-counting delay, establishing a political dynasty in one of the world’s most tightly controlled countries. Serdar Berdymukhamedov, 40, secured 72.97 percent of votes in Saturday’s election to lead the gas-rich country and succeed his father Gurbanguly, the central election commission said on Tuesday. Al Jazeera – Turkmenistan leader’s son wins presidential election
- The next 30 years are pivotal for the future of the global climate. To have a fighting chance at limiting warming to 2°C, a threshold beyond which Earth may not be able to sustain human life, we need reductions in the range of 25 to 55 percent of cumulative global emissions by 2050. Potentially halving the world’s carbon output in thirty years requires innovation and mobilization on a scale greater than the most ambitious projects ever attempted, like harnessing the potential of atomic energy or landing humans on the moon. Johannes Urpelainen and Chetan Hebbale – Brookings –Net-zero innovation hubs: 3 priorities to drive America’s clean energy future
- A bipartisan group of almost two dozen senators requested a briefing from top U.S. security officials regarding ongoing pursuits to shield America from Russian-linked cybersecurity and disinformation threats—specifically in the wake of what they called “Russia’s violent and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.”. Brandi Vincent – Nextgov – Senators Ask DHS for Strategy to Protect U.S. Critical Infrastructure from Russia
- As the government looks to tighten procurement regulations for critical software, the National Institute of Standards and Technology issued a special publication detailing appropriate ways to assess an organization’s adherence to the agency’s go-to list of enhanced security requirements for protecting controlled but unclassified information. Mariam Baksh – Nextgov – NIST Releases Guidance for Assessing Compliance with Core Cybersecurity Publication
- Appropriators opted not to add projects to the Defense Department’s software pilot program in fiscal 2022, but did slightly increase funding. Lawmakers only allotted funding for eight programs to experiment with the concept of “colorless money” in the recently passed omnibus appropriations bill, instead of the 12 listed in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. Lauren C. Williams – Nextgov – Funding for DOD’s Software Pilots Holds Strong in 2022
- A team of national security experts have launched a new venture capital fund targeting entrepreneurs developing critical dual-use commercial and defense technology. Courtney Albon – Defense News – New venture capital fund focused on high-need, dual-use technology
- Prices paid to U.S. producers rose strongly in February on higher costs of goods, underscoring inflationary pressures that set the stage for a Federal Reserve rate hike this week. The producer price index for final demand increased 10% from February of last year and 0.8% from the prior month, Labor Department data showed Tuesday. That followed an upwardly revised 1.2% monthly gain in January. Bloomberg, Al Jazeera – US producer prices increased 10% in February from a year ago
- The risks associated with nuclear weapons are rising once again, the heads of three U.S. intelligence agencies told lawmakers last week, as Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine intensified. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. At the end of the Cold War, President George H.W. Bush boasted that the United States could now reduce its nuclear forces. But today’s arsenals—and global politics—are much different than in 1991. U.S. leaders face threatening dictatorships in Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, and Pyongyang, all racing to create new nuclear bombs and ways to deliver them. Technology, it turns out, is making arms control harder, and that’s forcing a big rethink about nuclear deterrence. Patrick Tucker – Defense One – Why New Technology Is Making Nuclear Arms Control Harder
- Take a good look at the propaganda machine. The total control of information and messages from the airwaves to the internet, the fawning over the infallible leader—it’s all quite impressive. I’m not talking about Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin. I’m talking about America’s far-right media, on display at two conferences in Orlando last week, and every night on cable TV. Kevin Baron – Defense One – Putin’s Propaganda Machine Is What America’s Far-Right Wants
- Many are calling for a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine. Few appear to be grappling with the details required to make it an actual policy proposal. Peter W. Singer – Defense One – The ‘No-Fly Zone’ Test
- We all understand the importance of being a good customer in our daily lives. As customers at restaurants and hotels, we know that being considerate towards service providers such as waiters and bellhops is the baseline for receiving good customer service. The same concept should apply to the Defense Department’s acquisitions system, despite the difference in scale. In military technology acquisitions, to receive the best customer service from defense firms and maintain access to the best service providers, DOD should be a good customer by listening to private sector concerns for speed and profitability. 1st Lt. Luke Chen, Capt. Louis McCullagh – Defense One – The Defense Department Is a Bad Customer. Let’s Change That
- As the world doomscrolls through the grim news from Ukraine, it’s time to reassess the risks created by sizing the U.S. military to fight a single major conflict. The 2018 National Defense Strategy was a watershed document that shifted DOD’s focus toward defeating Chinese or Russian aggression, defending the U.S. homeland, sustaining nuclear deterrence, and deterring — but not defeating — a lesser aggressor in another theater.
USA – IVORY COAST
- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has welcomed Patrick Achi, prime minister of Ivory Coast, for bilateral talks on a number of trade and security issues at the US Department of State. “We join Côte d’Ivoire in the worldwide condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” Blinken said in a tweet late Monday, after meeting the Ivorian leader. Al Jazeera – US’s Blinken meets Ivory Coast PM to discuss trade, security | News | Al Jazeera
USA – MEXICO
- Authorities said a U.S. Consulate along the Mexican border closed temporarily after it was shot at overnight. In addition to the temporary closure, the U.S. Consulate encouraged its employees to stay indoors and directed U.S. citizens to do the same or avoid the area, according to Reuters. Monique Beals – The Hill – US Consulate in Mexico temporarily closes after coming under gunfire